5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 11, 2009 12:48 PM by 807557 RSS

    Corrupt BIOS on Sun w1100z Opteron box

    807557
      Hi,

      I've got one of those Sun Opteron boxes on my desk (Sun Java
      Workstation W1100z). Actually, it's more of a foot stool now,
      because the BIOS is corrupted and the machine won't boot. How
      did I manage to corrupt the BIOS? Well, the BIOS was showing a
      fan fault, even though the fan was running okay. So I attempted
      to update the BIOS to R01B4S3 using the Supplemental CD-ROM.
      However, the update hung part-way through and now the BIOS is
      corrupted. According to SunSolve, this is the "fan pulse" issue.
      It says:
       # Problem Statement: 
       # 
       # The Sun Java[TM] Workstation W2100z/W1100z may hang during BIOS 
       # upgrade, due to "fan pulse", a known issue in BIOS R01B4S2. 
       # 
       # The FAN pulse issue was addressed in BIOS R01B4S3, so the BIOS 
       # upgrade is required to solve this issue. 
       # 
       # Resolution: 
       # 
       # To avoid the hang during BIOS upgrade, setup the "System Cooling" 
       # parameter to "Aggressive" mode, so the upgrade can be done 
       # successfully. 
       # 
       # When the upgrade is complete, return the "System Cooling" 
       # parameter to "Normal". 
       
      However, the System Cooling was set to "Aggressive", and the
      system hung anyway. And the warranty expired on March 31st, so
      Sun won't do anything about it.

      This is a catch-22 situation, so other people out there must have
      encountered it. How does one recover from this?

      What I'd like to do is simply order a new BIOS chip and install
      it myself. However, Sun doesn't have a part number for this.
      Does anybody out there know where I can get a BIOS chip from?

      We have other Sun Opteron boxes on our network, so I could try
      a hot-swap, but I might end-up with two dead BIOS chips and
      maybe a dead mother board. Has anyone out there tried a hot
      swap of the BIOS on a Sun Opteron box?

      Thanks in advance for any advice,
      John
        • 1. Re: Corrupt BIOS on Sun w1100z Opteron box
          807557
          I too have encountered a hung flash. There are several options to recover.

          If the last 64KB BIOS block is still intact, the IBM Flash BIOS Boot Block recovery image (for the Intellistation A-pro type 6224) may work, that is after modifying the image with the SUN BIOS. The BIOS recovery jumper on the motherboard would need to be set (see IBM's documentation about this) when booting the recovery CD. Attach a speaker to the workstation to hear the beeps.

          If the recovery procedure does not respond at all, then the w1100z BIOS chip will need to be removed (it's in a socket), and reprogrammed externally or replaced. The BIOS chip is SST49LF080A flash and can be programmed directly with the *.flh image in the Sun BIOS update CDs. If you have access to a computer lab with a programmer, your all set (if not, please drop me a note).

          To date, I haven't yet found a small quantity source for the flash chip, even for blank ones.

          Flash utility phlash16 v1.3 build 41 has given me the most trouble with hangs in the past. The older Sun supplement CDs and the latest supplement CD 2.5 include later and more reliable versions of phlash16.
          • 2. Re: Corrupt BIOS on Sun w1100z Opteron box
            807727
            Did you use the internal CD drive or a USB attached CD drive?

            There is a jumper that can be set to reset the BIOS back to the default. You set the jumper, power on the system, wait about a minute or so, then restart the system with the BIOS CD in the CD drive. This has helped me get out of jams.
            • 3. Re: Corrupt BIOS on Sun w1100z Opteron box
              807557
              Did you use the internal CD drive or a USB attached
              CD drive?
              Use the internal CD drive. The BIOS recovery boot block has no video capability and probably does not have usb capability either.
              There is a jumper that can be set to reset the BIOS
              back to the default. You set the jumper, power on the
              system, wait about a minute or so, then restart the
              system with the BIOS CD in the CD drive. This has
              helped me get out of jams.
              There's another jumper to erase/reset CMOS settings. That's different than booting the recovery boot block. The recovery boot block jumper is JP2 (description "unknown") in the sun handbook.
              • 4. Re: Corrupt BIOS on Sun w1100z Opteron box
                807557
                I seem to be facing the same problem after upgrading a w2100z from R01B4S0 to LATEST ( R01B5S1 ). ( w2 / w1 stand for number of processors in the box )
                The bios flashing went perfectly but the machine never came back after the system reboot.

                After power on the system initializes it`s video card and stands there ( probably never completing POST ) and the strange thing is that i can type anything on the keyboard and only F8 and F12 seem to generate a response from the system.

                Pressing F8 results in the monitor printing "4pt" and F12 some oOo sign ( rotate at 90degrees ).

                I've cleared the CMOS Settings ( JP1 pins 2 - 3 ) and put the motherboard into recovery mode ( JP2 set to pins 2 - 3 ) but once in recovery mode it starts beeping a VGA Card Error ( 1 long 2 short )
                In this state i've tried booting with the ibm intellistation 6224 recovery cd modified to include the SUN R01B4S0 Bios with no success whatsoever..
                i've tried combinations like putting the bios file on a cd by itself / using the supplement 2.0 cd / modifying the ibm flash recovery disk ( modified and unmodified ) and powering on the machine..
                I've even tried all of these while holding ALT + HOME and powering up the workstation.

                No success till now.

                If you have some suggestions on how to fix this they will be welcome.

                Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
                Micky Socaci.
                • 5. Re: Corrupt BIOS on Sun w1100z Opteron box
                  807557
                  Some suggestions...

                  Do a clear CMOS operation first, and be sure to power down, restore the jumper to original position, and power back up. If you still can't recover the workstation, try reducing the hardware configuration to bare minimum. If still no go, then you can try the BIOS recovery jumper. Do not set both jumpers.

                  For the BIOS recovery CD, be sure to verify that it's a bootable CD.

                  In recovery mode, the only feedback is audio (hook up speakers to line out to get audio). As long as there's audio, the BIOS recovery code is alive. If you think it's beeping a VGA card error, then try removing the card. There's no video anyway in recovery mode.